Photo by Derrick Mahone North Clayton, which is led by coach Martisse Troup, sits atop the Region 4-AAAA standings with a 6-0 record in the league and 8-3 overall. The fifth-ranked Eagles only three losses have come against out-of-town competition.
For the last two weeks, local boys basketball teams have been preparing themselves for their upcoming region races with competition in holiday tournaments.
Now that school is back in, the region competition heats back up.
Here is a look at each region involving teams from the Southern Crescent:
Region 2-AAAAA: Luella, the only team from the area in this region, has been a big surprise. The Lions only loss was 63-56 to a ranked Westlake team on the road.
Region 3-AAAA: Alcovy has taken an early lead in the region race, but Woodland, Dutchtown and Ola are within striking distance. Both Woodland and Dutchtown are 2-1 in the region standings while Ola is 2-2.
Region 4-AAAA: With three teams ranked in the latest PrepCountry.com/GACA Coaches poll, this could be one of the top regions in the state.
North Clayton, which just played in the competitive Kingdom of the Sun tournament in Florida, is the highest ranked team in the league at No. 5. Senior Marcus Hunt, a Georgia Tech signee, has lived up to his preseason hype in leading the Eagles, who are 8-3 overall. All three of the teams losses have come to out-of-state competition, including nationally-ranked Montverde Academy.
Lovejoy, which won last seasons regular-season championship, is a game behind North Clayton with a 5-0 mark in the league. Several of the teams football players have played a few games to get into basketball shape, and they should start to have an impact on the team.
Jonesboro has hopes of defending its region championship with a talented cast of juniors. The Cardinals played in the Hoops in Overdrive Tournament where they faced last seasons Class AAAA finalist Rockdale and host Centennial.
Region 4-AAA: Eagles Landing, a state semifinalist, looks as if it will make another long playoff run. The Golden Eagles played in the finals of the Converse Classic at Columbia High, where it beat ranked teams in Southwest DeKalb and Buford.
Led by the return of Isaac Dennis, Eric Wortham and Desmond Ringer, the Golden Eagles are the early favorite to repeat as region champion.
Drew and Henry County offer some competition to Eagles Landing.
Region 9-A: Strong Rock and Eagles Landing Christian begin their region schedules on Friday when they meet at Strong Rock. This is Strong Rocks second season in the Georgia High School Association.
The Patriots have struggled this season, losing their last five games after opening the season with a seven-point win against Social Circle.
Banneker at Mount Zion
Forest Park at Riverdale
Mundys Mill at Tri-Cities
Lovejoy at Creekside
Jonesboro at Morrow
Alcovy at Woodland
Griffin at Ola
Dutchtown at Union Grove
Eagles Landing at Stockbridge
Social Circle at
ELCA at Athens Academy